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This is how xenophobic voters turn politicians into callous ...


This is how xenophobic voters turn politicians into callous ‘inspectors’

Here are four issues that need our attention after this week’s events

Editor: TimesLIVE

The latest excitement and anxiety generated by “inspections” — or is it “oversight”? — by politicians of labour employment practices, and specifically the ratio of employment of foreigners to locals, shed light on four areas we must worry about.

The first is policy confusion. Are there designated sectors, or even specific jobs, in our country that foreign nationals are not allowed to trade in? Even if there aren’t, what is the percentage split of locals to foreigners that is permissible? At the time of writing this, there was no coherent policy position developed to deal with this thorny and highly divisive issue, barring regulations in gestation. 

You’d think that given the violence we have seen in our country in the last decade, our policy chiefs and the ministry of employment and labour, led by former unionist Thulas Nxesi, would have provided leadership. Policy is being developed only now because anti-foreigner sentiment has become a political/electioneering issue, which leads us to the second issue – the politicisation of migration...

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